Mountain Park Health Center | Davies Community Health Award

Mountain Park Health Center is a federally qualified, private non-profit, federally qualified community health center (FQHC) and the winner of the 2016 HIMSS Davies Community Health Award. Mountain Park has 8 clinic locations in metro Phoenix, serving nearly 70,000 patients and providing the community with 365,000 medical visits annually.  They have over 130 providers serving patients daily and have delivered 1,830 babies, e-prescribed 250,000 prescriptions, immunized over 95% of our pediatric patients under 2 years old, and provide access to cancer screenings for three main types (breast, cervical and colon) for our adult patients.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology has provided Mountain Park the ability to analyze data, identify patients eligible for screening, monitor patient adherence, and provide staff with the tools to manage patient health efficiently. Mountain Park has received the award from HIMSS based on three case studies that proves their desire to use EHR technology to improve patient health. The case studies included:

  • Mountain Park discovered that their childhood obesity screening rates needed attention and made significant changes to their workflow to identify patients and monitor compliance. Baseline data showed 62% of eligible patients were properly identified as needing intervention, however these interventions, which would not have been possible in the paper, chart world, allowed screening and intervention rates to increase significantly.
  • Mountain Park recognized without a certified EHR, not only would they not meet federal reporting requirements for Meaningful Use and UDS reports, they were missing the opportunity to highlight their quality work. Post implementation, Mountain Park has been recognized for quality achievements by both the federal government and The Joint Commission.
  • Prior to all clinics being on the EHR, Mountain Park had an inefficient paper process to track colon cancer screening. After fully implementing their EHR system, it was discovered that MPHC colon cancer screening rates were abysmal, hovering around 30%. Mountain Park realized there was an opportunity for workflow redesign.

Mountain Park serves nearly 26,000 pediatric patients.  Out of those, nearly 20,000 need to have their weight assessed as a part of obesity prevention. Prior to implementation of their EHR system, the documenting of assessments was subpar. An investigation discovered there was no standard workflow for the child weight assessment. 

The eCW Admin team in partnership with clinical leadership reviewed the disjointed process and developed a new, more successful workflow. Mountain Park has a systematic approach for completing the child weight assessment and counseling that has resulted in a more reliable intervention when needed. In 2015, Mountain Park childhood weight assessment rate reached 99% for eligible patients. Current data shows this has continued.

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MPHC recognized the VistA EHR system they were attempting to adapt for use was not working. They struggled to retrieve data from the system and discovered it was so difficult to use that instead of improving quality, the system was hindering it. It was clear a vital change needed to happen immediately in order to drive improvement in quality and safety for our patients. 

They decided to terminate the VistA EHR and dedicate the necessary resources, including time, people and finances to find the right system, which would allow then to achieve their quality goals easily. Mountain Park recognized without a certified EHR, not only would we not meet federal reporting requirements for Meaningful Use and UDS reports, we were missing the opportunity to highlight our quality work. Over 50% of their patients are web enabled and using their patient portal. They have utilized text messaging to send messages to our patients related to missed appointments and population health metrics.

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Mountain Park serves nearly 28,000 adult patients.  Out of those, nearly one-third are eligible for colorectal cancer screening. Prior to the implementation of their Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, the efficacy of screening patients was subpar. The paper chart world did not have a way to target eligible patients for cancer screenings, let alone colon cancer specifically. Mountain Park’s goal to have 30% of eligible patients screened was never realized prior to EHR implantation.

Post implementation, our screening rates increased to 39% in 2014, and a marked improvement over the paper system. Mountain Park leadership was happy with the increase, but recognized there was more we could do.  A review of workflow and clinical decision support allowed them to increase the screening rates to 56% in 2015, and they were on track to surpass 60% in 2016.

Recognizing Mountain Park serves underserved and disenfranchised populations in MUAs (Medically Underserved Areas), combined with the colon cancer screening test requiring patients to submit stool samples and return the samples to the clinic, thier percentages are worth celebrating.

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Keywords: 
Population Health, community health center, Davies Award